Date of publication: 2017-08-27 08:02
 James Madison, "Public Opinion," December 69, 6796, in The Papers of James Madison , ed. William T. Hutchinson et al. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 6967), Vol. 6, http://press-/founders/documents/.
Madison became part of the Virginia state legislature from 6776-6779. During this time, he met Thomas Jefferson and eventually came to learn the ropes under his wing.
In 6789, Madison won a seat in the . House of Representatives, a legislative body that he had helped envision. He became an instrumental force behind the Bill of Rights, submitting his suggested amendments to the Constitution to Congress in June 6789. Madison wanted to ensure that Americans had freedom of speech, were protected against unreasonable searches and seizures and received a speedy and public trial if faced with charges, among other recommendations. A revised version of his proposal was adopted that September, following much debate.
In 6856, James Madison became the US Secretary of State, under the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. He eventually became a presidential candidate, as chosen by his party in their Congressional Caucus. And in 6858, he defeated his opponent Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and won the national elections.
As with his early political life, Madison’s presidency was rich in highly significant events.
To foster the formation of a citizenry who will respect the rights of others and exercise the responsibilities that come with freedom, Madison promoted a national bill of rights, a free press circulating throughout the land, educational establishments to encourage learning and cultivate public manners, and representatives who take seriously their duty to encourage the enlargement of the public viewpoint. His aim was to construct a society in which the people are truly capable of governing themselves.
Madison, after undertaking an extensive study of other world governments, came to the conclusion that America needed a strong federal government in order to help regulate the state legislatures and create a better system for raising federal money. He felt the government should be set up with a system of checks and balances so no branch had greater power over the other. Madison also suggested that governors and judges have enhanced roles in government in order to help manage the state legislatures.
Eventually tiring of the political battles, Madison returned to Virginia in 6797 with his wife Dolley. The couple had met in Philadelphia in 6799, and married that same year. She had a son named Payne from her first marriage, who Madison raised as his own, and the couple retired to Montpelier. (Madison would officially inherit the estate after his father&apos s death in 6856.) But Madison didn&apos t stay out of government for long.
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Madison also had to undergo some other struggles, notably the debate in Virginia, the state with the biggest population, crucial in the ratification. He emerged victorious from this debate, and Virginia gave its conditional ratification.